Jan
12

A delicious vegan and gluten free kale detox salad with an incredible lemon dressing — you’ll make this again and again!

Today I want to tell you about one of my favorite salads. Yes, it’s a sort of ‘detox salad’.

My mom first made it for me for me three years ago. I adore the recipe for so many reasons: it’s fresh, bright, and flavorful. Plus you can add nearly anything to it to dress it up.

If you’ve never had kale before, this salad is perfect to start with!

The reason I call this a detox salad because not only is it vegan and gluten free, but it also has an incredible amount of good for you ingredients in it.

Side note: I’m watching Dawson’s Creek right now. Paceyyyyyyyy!

Sorry… back to the salad.

Read more.


Jan
08

Oven roasted green beans with garlic, parmesan cheese, and tomatoes – the perfect side dish!

1-IMG_7103

Green things! Finally, right?

For the last month, I ate way too much Mexican food, drank too many bottles of wine, and consumed wayyyy too much sugar. Talk about an overload. What I really need in my life (and maybe yours, too) is a little balance.

The good news is that work finally seems to be slowing down and I’m planning a couple of things including a blog redesign and a trip to Australia!

Yes, my boyfriend and I are headed down under for almost two weeks next month! Our trip starts in Sydney, then we’re road tripping from Brisbane to Byron Bay, then back through the Gold Coast, and finally ending in Brisbane for one of my darling friend’s wedding. She just sent me a picture of the bridesmaid’s dress and it’s beyond gorgeous!

Monique at Byron Bay

Even though I briefly lived in Australia and explored, I’m excited to head back and do some adventuring! Above is a picture of me at Byron Bay, the most eastern point of Australia; it was where I first learned to surf!

If you have any recommendations of things to do, see, or visit – please leave a comment or send me an email! I’d love to hear them!

6-IMG_7127

Read more.


Sep
09

It’s been incredibly warm in Minnesota so I’ve been trying to workout outside as much as possible. Yesterday I biked 15 miles; my legs are feeling a little tired today! I find that drinking lots and lots of water helps with all of the aches. That and a giant spoonful of peanut butter. Hehe.

My meals are all prepared for the week, too! I’m trying to eat clean so I baked garlic chicken, and roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. I also made some delicious gluten free pumpkin bars, and sauteed kale & garden veggies. I don’t have much free time on the weeknights so my meals need to be ready. Plus it helps me to stay on track when trying to eat right.

Last week I made this delicious vegetarian chili packed with lentils & quinoa. Mmmmmm!

This chili reminded me of my sweet potato and black bean quinoa chili; the flavors are very similar and deeeelicious!

So much goodness goes into a pot: lentils, quinoa, black beans, kidney beans, red pepper, fresh tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, plus a touch of curry powder.

Let’s not forget about the nutrition: a little over 300 calories, 17g of fiber, and 18g of protein. This chili will fill you up!

Read more.


Aug
05

Hello Monday. Hello delicious little veggie burgers that I want to devour.

I’m currently on a juice cleanse. I’ve done one before, so it’s not really a shock to my system. However staring at pictures of these burgers is making me so hungry. GIVE ME DAT BURGA. With a side of sweet potato fries and half of cup of sriracha please.

NOM.

But for reals, veggie burgers are totally my jam. I love em! They’re so much more delicious than those creepy burgers packed with soy and foreign ingredients. I already have a sweet potato chickpea burger and a lentil burger that you should try!

These burgers are the real thing: spicy, sweet, fresh, totally bomb little love bites in your mouth.

I am quite descriptive today. Probs because I’m on mission to bring you deliciousness. HEY ooooooo.

FYI: Proper grammar doesn’t count in today’s post. Like it ever matters here anyway.

Read more.


Jul
01

July is officially here! I booked a flight for a fun adventure. I have two jobs I love. Plus, I made you truffles, cookies, tacos, and this easy & fun Summer berry crostini.

I’m also currently obsessing over zucchini and have way too many ideas in my head; I literally had to force myself out of the grocery store after three hours of pacing the aisles. Pretty typical.

Besides being a grocery store stalker, I was quite busy this past weekend. The majority of my Friday was spent working then I caught a movie and stayed up until my eyes felt like heavy bricks. Saturday went by too quick; I hit a yoga class in the morning, did some editorial planning for the blog, and watched an episode of Cats from Hell. NOT KIDDING. I love cats.

I had a little ‘me’ time yesterday though and spent most of my day in the kitchen. I’m trying to get caught up on recipe creation so that I can take a little vacation over the weekend and relax. My wonderful mom also stopped over to show me her StitchFix collection (I got her hooked!). We haven’t seen each other in nearly two weeks so it was good to catch up. It’s important to remember you can never be too busy for your family. However, you can be too busy for when your mom tells you about how much she loves Jeremy Piven.

Read more.


Jun
24

Are you a enthusiast in life? Are you doing what you love? Are you following your passions, your dreams, and pushing your boundaries?

I’ve been asking myself all of those questions because most days it feels like I’m chasing an unknown dream. However, I know that I’m meant to be on this journey and that ultimately it’s the right choice for me. For some reason, I feel compelled to write, to make and share recipes, and to absolutely pour my heart into my craft.

Of course I’m sure you have a passion too — something that makes your heart beat enthusiastically; but are you doing something about it? So many of us wait for moments of success to appear in front of us instead of seeking out and pursuing what we truly want. The important thing is to let your passion flow freely and enable your dreams to live wildly. Your intuition will guide you through your fear.

Perhaps you don’t know what your passion is yet. If that’s the case, ask yourself this what you do effortlessly. We all create our own happiness and the most important thing I’ve realized is that we all have limited time. So spend the time you do have, doing what you LOVE!

OKAY, the Tuesday Preach is over. Time for me to share my exquisite passion for delicious salad making with you.

This salad is absolutely incredible and probably one of my new favorites. I’d even put it right up there with my Thai Quinoa Salad.

The flavors are bright, fresh, and flavorful. Not only is it incredibly healthy, but it’s also gluten free and vegan friendly.

Read more.


Jun
13

Yes, the weekend is here. I should be thrilled, but to tell you the truth, I am sooooooo tired. The only thing I’m thrilled about is the chance to sleep in.

I don’t think I’ve recovered from last weekend yet, plus my new job started on Monday so I’ve been going, going, going. Maybe I’ll take the weekend to recover just a little bit. This is really just me explaining why I haven’t been posting as frequently.

But here’s something to look forward to: A brand new redesigned Ambitious Kitchen! Yes, each day we’ve been plugging away on my new site! I’m excited for it to launch, but let me tell you, it takes more work than you would think!

Anyway since I’ve been on the go lately, I’ve needed to make sure that all of my meals and snacks are prepared ahead of time.

I’m also kind of on this no-wheat experimentation diet, thus I’ve been eating high protein breakfasts  — including these awesome veggie-packed egg white muffins.

Read more.


Jun
11

Ummm hi. I’m recovering from a food coma — a deep and scary one. I guess that’s what happens when you attend food conferences in a city where there is magical Mexican food.

I can’t even think of anything except salad right now! I need it. Because apparently I think that it’s okay to eat ice cream sandwiches the size of my face, buttery muffins for breakfast, and ohhh I don’t know about a million peanut butter m&ms (give or take a few).

I’ll be paying for my decisions for the next week; however, with salads that include strawberries, goat cheese, quinoa, and crunchy sunflower seeds; I’m not sure I mind too much. Especially when it’s tossed in my absolute favorite lemon dressing.

I would have to say that this salad is absolutely perfect for summer. It’s slightly sweet, but oh so fresh! Often times I add chia or poppyseeds to the lemon dressing for a little fun crunch and extra nutrition. The goat cheese adds in a nice tang and along with the dressing, I found it to be irresistible! The sunflower seeds are different and lovely, but you can use pecans if you’d like.

Other optional add-ins that I’d suggest: chickpeas or pulled chicken breast. You can serve this over spinach and pack it for your weekly lunches.

Read more.


May
13

How was your weekend?

Of course… mine was delicious! I took the day off Friday to spend time with my mom; we had a fun lunch at Panera and got pedis. Then I spent the better part of the afternoon getting organized in preparation for a move. I have come to the conclusion that will never like packing things or getting rid of clothes.

On Saturday I had a fun date night at Borough in Minneapolis (more to come on that another time).

Yesterday was Mother’s Day; my family celebrated with a light brunch and they also forced me to make my best apple crisp. Afterwards I got in a beautiful 6 mile run, then dabbled in the kitchen a bit with some cooking. Some days there’s nothing better than doing exactly what your passionate about, you know? Grocery store runs, organizing my recipes, and photographing the end result always makes me feel a bit accomplished.

Read more.


May
06

It really felt like a Summery Cinco de Mayo weekend, didn’t it?

I spent the better half of it with my face in a bowl of chips and guac… like you would expect anything less from me. I’m just going to be honest and say that I’m hoping to repeat it every single weekend for the rest of my life.

But seriously.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to Summer. My ears are longing for Lana Del Ray and old Mariah Carey beats.

Everyone knows Minnesota summers are the BEST EVER!  Probably because we endure a solid six months of Winter? Nevertheless, a completely irresistible three months are coming soon. I can’t wait to lounge by the lake and catch the pink-painted sunsets with a drink in hand. YUM!

Anyway I was thinking we’d start enjoying the flavors of Summer a little early with a bit of mango avocado pico and burgers packed with fresh flavors. I already know you’re down.

(If you don’t know what that means, the just make the burgers and enjoy how freaking healthy delicious they are.)

Read more.

 
 
Simple Share Buttons